Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Fragrances of a Feather Flock Together

I have often noticed that several fragrances in my collection smell suspiciously interchangeable to one another. Usually it is a fleeting thought that I do not investigate. However, this week my curiosity got the best of me so I began to systematically test and sniff various fragrances and explore patterns of similarity. Of those tested, one particular group stands out as being so incredibly similar that I must share it with you.

These three fall into the category of romantic floral. All three of them combine rose and fruit with a beautiful amber or musk base, so if you are not into those notes .. well ... my experiment will be lost on you. For those who do love a light, casual fruity-rosey-amber fragrance, you may be surprised and relieved. One of the group is fairly expensive (even on discount sites), one has unfortunately been discontinued and another one is available deeply discounted, so why not pop for the discounted one and count your blessings? They are as follows:

Flowerbelle Rouse = Stella McCartney Stella = Chopard Wish Pink Diamond

Let us explore these gems a bit further, shall we?

Flowerbelle Rouse was raved about a few years ago by Parfums de Rosine fans looking for a less expensive alternative to Un Zest de Rose. With notes of orange, bergamot, jasmine, rose, lily of the valley and musk, it begins zestier than Stella but ends as a dead ringer for it. In doing so, it highlights the lightness of the amber note in Stella, since musk is the only base for Rouse. I do find it similar to Un Zest de Rose however, I have left the Rosines out of this comparison due to their exquisite nature. Some beautiful creations are better left alone. Unfortunately, Flowerbelle Rouse has been discontinued much to the dismay of its fans who delighted in spending only $27 for a great scent. Of the three, this is my favorite.

Stella by Stella McCartney was released in 2003 and includes notes of rose essence, peony, mandarin, rose absolute and amber. The crisp, clean mandarin contrasted with romantic rose and delicate peony creates a pretty and quiet fragrance while the light amber gives it some depth, though not much. Stella has become quite popular as a daytime, casual fragrance. (I own the Rose Absolute formulation for its deeper, more resonating and lasting base notes, perfect for nighttime.) Yet, the least expensive bottle I could find was at FragranceX for $55.23.

Finally Chopard Wish Pink Diamond was launched in 2005 and contains notes of tangerine, pear, rose, acanthus, apricot, freesia, amber, sandalwood, and musk. I adore the packaging, since the bottle closely resembles a diamond with the liquid making it pink. The composition is a little more complex than the previous two but in the end, the intricacies do not differ enough to distinguish all three. Best of all, it is available for just $21.95 for a 1 oz. EDP spray! The only drawback I have found is less longevity with this one. For that price, however, you can have a bottle in your car, at your desk and in your powder room.

What fragrances have you found to be imitations of or extremely similar to one another?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Acqua di Parma Colonia Assoluta

You may remember my mention of this zesty and fresh fragrance in my discussion of our visit to Rome, Italy. For those who did not see it, you may read that here. I am embarrassed it took me so long to review it (chalk it up to too much activity since my return). Acqua di Parma Colonia Assoluta appropriately accompanied me through our few days in hot and humid Rome, for it was the only fragrance with me that was light enough to counteract the oppressive heat, crowds and noise. Testing the fragrance at home is an altogether different experience. I have only a few spritzes left in my sample vial so rather than needing a light diversion, I can simply enjoy its understated elegance and freshness.

With its goldenrod packaging contrasted with bold black print and their hand distilled essences, Acqua di Parma has come to represent prestige, class and elegance in the perfume world. The house is 100 years old and hails from Parma, Italy. During the early 20th Century, most perfumes in production were from Germany and were known for being characteristically strong. When Acqua Di Parma's first scent was released, it immediately developed a following that appreciated its "breath of fresh air" qualities, hallmarked by citrus fruits from the Mediterranean. During the 1930's and 1940's, Acqua di Parma gained a loyal following and had to strengthen its production capacity and distribution to meet the growing demands of the marketplace. Even so, it was not until the 1990's when three powerful men from the Italian luxury goods business decided to back the company enabling Acqua di Parma to truly became a worldwide phenomenon. Today, Acqua di Parma's products and fragrances are enjoyed by men and women desiring luxury personal products that exude elegance. In fact the brand recently opened a barber shop at the Yacht Club Milan. The fragrances are repeatedly featured in top fashion and beauty magazines, with the most popular being Iris Noble for women and Colonia for men and women.

Colonia Assoluta is a fresh take on the century-old Colonia, with more delicate notes added to modernize the scent. The notes include "Italian citrus freshness, spicy vibrations, floral radiant elegance and sensual white woods" according to the sample card. The "citrus freshness" includes bergamot, sweet orange, bitter orange and verbena. "Spicy vibrations" include cardamom, pink pepper and chili pepper (really?). And finally, "floral radiant elegance" includes jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang and wild orchid. It begins quite tart and fresh, as you would expect with all that citrus. In fact, it is so zesty to my nose that the aroma exudes masculinity. However, once the fragrance settles into the floral/spicy heart it becomes softer - counterintuitive to what you would expect with pepper and jasmine. The pink and chili pepper and floral notes are almost undetectable and serve only to augment the musky, woodsy undertones. Rather, the combination of varying notes unexpectedly morphs into a lavender-like skin scent for the majority of wear, a far cry from its citric beginning. Wearing this scent reminds me of a quick, brisk, cold shower followed by a leisurely walk in the park on a calm, spring day. I would not call Colonia Assoluta warm, but there is something remotely comforting about the fragrance. Yet, my sample vial is enough for me. Quite possibly that lack of warmth as well as my associations with it prevent me from becoming emotionally attached to the fragrance. For men and women who desire a refreshing and elegant scent for day or night, Colonia Assoluta should definitely be visited. My sensibilities are far more excited by the Blue Meditteraneo line that was just released by Acqua di Parma, especially Tuscan Cypress and Sicilian Almond. (More to come on those!)

Acqua di Parma Colonia Assoluta is available at Neiman Marcus and, in addition to other select boutiques. A 1.7 oz. Eau de Cologne spray is $71 and 3.4 oz. is $109.

History of the brand paraphrased from

Images of brand courtesy of

Friday, January 25, 2008

Winter Breezes by Camille

I am extremely pleased to announce my first contributing writer!! I present to you my fragrance friend and Arizona neighbor Camille, a university professor with no credentials for perfume blogging other than a love of fragrance, a passion for learning, and a desire to communicate with others scent obsessed. She is perhaps one of the most knowledgeable people I have met when it comes to fragrance. And she has been so gracious to write "Winter Breezes" to appear during one of my most arduous weeks of the year. Enjoy and thank you Camille!

I love the glorious excess of the holiday season. It’s a time of culturally-sanctioned overindulgence: I eat and drink too much. I shop and spend too much. I stay out or up too late with friends and family. My normal restraint with decorative “frou frou” flies up the chimney and I lavish every available flat surface and door and wall with greenery and trinkets and twinkly lights. And I pull out my richest and warmest scents in celebration of the season: Even in south-central Arizona, where we never see snow and it’s rarely seriously cold, I can finally feel free to revel in the likes of Fumerie Turque, Organza Indecence, and Coco, scents that seem like “too much” at most times of the year but fit the exuberance of late November and all of December perfectly.

Come January 2, however, all that excess seems once again like “too much.” Salads and fruit sound better than any heavy dinner or rich dessert. I pay the bills and eye the budget with new resolve. A routine complete with exercise and regular sleep hours feels good. And I invariably can’t wait to get the boxes out and pack up all of the decorations that somehow have lost their sparkle. Once bare of the holiday finery, the house seems fresher, cleaner, and brighter—it’s like the cold weather version of that first spring day when we open the windows and the breeze blows through the rooms.

This year—when we took the tree down later than usual and I was getting really antsy and unsettled by the delay—I got to thinking about this period and what scents I wear that capture that post-holiday feeling: spare, clean, restrained, perhaps even a bit cool and melancholy. The fragrances that I turn to when I don’t want “too much,” when excess irritates rather than pleases me. There are, of course, too many options and this is purely subjective, but my top choices in this category include:

1. Après L’Ondee (Guerlain)

Admittedly this fragrance suits more moods than my post-holiday period, but I love Après for its cool and fresh take on iris and violet. It is spare and dry and classic, and wearing it makes me feel more restrained and elegant than I am (or ever will be).

2. L’Eau d’Hiver (Frederic Malle)

A cliché, perhaps, but L’Eau d’Hiver perfectly captures that feeling of a clear winter day and winter water in all its forms: glistening on trees, frozen in puddles, dusting the ground. Ellena’s hawthorne/iris/musk creation is a little cool, a little melancholy, and all lovely.

3. Passage d’Enfer (l’Artisan)

The name suggests fire, but the fragrance is all cool flowers and damp church walls on my skin. There is something a little peppery in the opening that captures the slight melancholy of the post-holiday season, and the sheer lily and incense drydown satisfies my desire for austere freshness.

4. Iris Silver Mist (Serge Lutens)

Rich damp earth clinging to cold roots with a metallic tang—chilly, clear and more than a little quirky, ISM is right for only the hottest of summer days and the chilliest of January days. But when it is right, it is perfect.

5. 10 Corso Como

I love sandalwood, but I generally favor the nuttier, more rounded versions—l’Artisan’s Bois Farine, for example, is a staple that I reach for often all year round. 10CC, perhaps because on my skin it is peppery and incensey and only a little woodsy, seems more suited to January than does Bois Farine or my other softer sandalwoods.

6. Andree Putman Preparation Parfumee

Pepper, driftwood, and water—how could this not fit in this category? This is gray and cool and clean and subtle.

7. Philosykos (Diptyque)

This is my surprise January scent. Philosykos is one of my desert island fragrances, one of the few fragrances in my too-large collection that I have replaced more than once. It is without any doubt my favorite summer spritz, an absolute staple during Arizona summers. But it’s also perfect in January: It is dry, fresh, and resolutely green. When I tire of iris and pepper and frozen water but am still in my January phase, this is the bottle I grab.

You know, as I look over this list, I am struck by how many of these fragrances would also be included on my "dog days of summer” list. Perhaps it’s because I long then for some of that bare and cool freshness that this list so accurately captures for me now. Huh. Clearly I’ll need to revisit this list when it’s 110 degrees!


Do you have any fragrances or fragrance categories that fit your post-holiday mood? We’d love to hear about them!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Perfume History: Guerlain Jicky

Quoted from pages 184-185 of the book Perfume: Joy, Obsession, Scandal, Sin by Richard Stamelman:

Jicky, often called the first great modernist perfume, was created by Aime Guerlian (1834-1910) in 1889 and was as revolutionary a creation in the world of perfume as the Eiffel Tower constructed the same year was in the world of architecture ...

Because of its distinctive blend of synthetic and natural ingredients-head notes of lavender, bergamot, and rosewood wedded to soul notes of vanilla, coumarin, civet and opoponax-Jicky, a scent of the fougere (fern) class of perfumes, was a watershed fragrance in the history of perfumery. It symbolized "a change in attitude" toward fragrance and a radical transformation of the image system associated with scent. It was the first perfume, Philippe Guerlain, a descendant, remarks, "to combine natural and synthetic materials to create a perfume with many different facts: fresh, flowery, spicy, oriental, animalic." In the history of Guerlain perfumes it was also a bridge-scent, linking the nineteenth century to the twentieth ...

With such a fascinating and impactful year of discovery and the idea of being a "bridge scent", this fragrance has me utterly intrigued. The fact that it was created the same year as the Eiffel Tower was built seems reason enough to at least sniff. Unfortunately, it is not available where I live. I would love to hear your thoughts on it. Any regular wearers of Guerlain Jicky? Were you aware of the spectacular history surrounding it? Is that why you wear it? Or, did you love it without regard to its history?

Image source:

Monday, January 21, 2008

Forget Me Not: First by Van Cleef & Arpels

I admire women who have a signature scent. Their dedication, loyalty and simplicity astounds me because I have never even considered loyalty to one fragrance - probably that Gemini thing popping up its head again. I love the idea of experiencing a person as a fragrance. In fact one of my favorite people on the planet, my dear grandmother, has a signature scent. It is First, by Van Cleef & Arpels.

When I asked my grandmother to tell me how she discovered the scent, she described sniffing it on her sister-in-law, my aunt Monique, with whom she is very close. Aunt Monique grew up in France and has always had impeccable, European taste. I remember visiting her house as a child and being so impressed with all of her interesting knick knacks, her detailed china cabinet and most of all her "cuckoo" clock. Her home contained such unique things to do and look at compared to our home. I would sit for a half hour to watch the cuckoo bird chirp at each fifteen minute interval, drawing the most excitement from 12 o' clock, hallmarked by 12 chirps. Add Aunt Monique's French taste and sensibilities to a short career at Neiman Marcus, and I am certain she always discovers the most wonderful scents to wear. When my grandmother initially noticed First on her and fell in love with the sparkling floral fragrance, she asked immediately what it was. After discovering it was First by Van Cleef & Arpels, she decided to buy some for herself. Although she was a little disappointed that its scent developed differently on her skin than aunt Monique's, First fit her - sparkling, light, buttery floral and feminine.

Since then, to my nose First has become the fragrance that is my grandma. She calls it her signature scent, although she has worn Chanel No. 19, Chanel No. 22 and Chanel No. 5. However, she rarely if ever wears those anymore. She has a bottle of First in her summer and winter home and in her suitcase so that she is never without it. She describes it as "light, pleasing, not overbearing." I describe her as light, pleasing, not overbearing and energetic, beautiful, sweet, warm and always kind. Unfortunately, we live far away from one another so I cannot enjoy being around her as much as when I was a child.

First was the second fragrance created by Jean-Claude Ellena but the first to achieve great success. Launched in 1976, the year of the grand United States Bicentennial celebration, First quickly gathered a loyal following. Upon inhaling its smooth and sweet bouquet, the reason it did so becomes quite apparent. First was created by Parisian jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels to be a jewel-like fragrance and quite possibly to augment the beauty of his jewels. What a perfect fragrance to epitomize my grandmother, a woman who undoubtly sparkles and shines to anyone who meets her. First is built upon a dazzling note of jasmine, with soft aldehydes to add sparkle and blackcurrant buds for piquancy and energy. I detect buttery tuberose as well, which gives the fragrance multiple dimensions. I also detect a mandarin note in the opening which reminds me of my grandmother's sunny and warm disposition. The perfectly budding, glorious flowers lie on a base of amber and sandalwood. The entire composition has a seamless quality to it, preventing any one note from taking front and center. Rather, they each shine at different moments, like the various facets of a diamond that together create one luminous sparkle. In fact, when I discovered jasmine is the principle upon which First is built, I was surprised since I often think of jasmine as too cloying and sweet. Not so here, thanks to Jeane-Claude Ellena's mastery.

The official notes are as follows:

Top notes: aldehydes, mandarin, black currant bud, peach, raspberry, hyacinth

Heart notes: Turkish rose, narcissus, jasmine, lily of the valley, carnation, orchid, tuberose, orris

Base notes: amber, tonka bean, oakmoss, sandalwood, vetiver, musk, honey, civet

I am perfectly content letting my grandmother call this perfect-for-her aldehydic floral her own. I have plenty of others to wear. Although, on those days that I am missing her and longing to be in her warm and comforting presence, I dab a little First on my wrist and inhale its resplendent beauty ... and her brilliant soul appears in an instant.
Please be sure to check out Divina's pick for our "Forget Me Not" feature, Lanvin Arpege, at Fragrance Bouquet.

First is available in Parfum, Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette (my grandmother's choice) at select department stores and at various online discounters.
Image of bottle courtesy of My own image of my grandmother, me and my mother at my wedding reception.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Review Interview Style: Frederic Malle Le Parfum de Thérèse

Being Gemini carries some baggage with it. First, I get bored very easily. Second, I need lots of variety. I suppose most people could force their astrological description to fit their lifestyle even if at first glance it does not. However, in my case it fits so perfectly that nearly every life choice I have made supports it. My career that allows me to change scenery every day, my hilarious and oh so not boring, always surprising husband, my decisions to move, and move, and move again, my nontraditional wedding and lifestyle, my desire to travel as much as humanly possible, and my attempts to wear a different fragrance every day. Therefore, it seems no surprise that I have become bored with my typical review format. I will go back to it because it serves many purposes and you have no doubt become accustomed to it. However, today, just because it is Friday and I am bored, let us try something different. What do you say?

Today's review highlights Frederic Malle Le Parfum de Thérèse in free-floating thought, question and answer format:

Mrs. TMH, what was your first impression of this fragrance?

Wow! Green! Lush! Clear! Zesty! Where has it been all my life?

What was your second impression?

Eh, not so much. Something in the heart is bugging me, but without knowing the notes I cannot quite put my finger on it. Melon maybe? I loathe melon in fragrance and much prefer to eat it rather than smell it ... so that might explain my apathy.

How about a third impression?

Oh, I love the dry down! That melon stinkiness has disappeared and now all I get is French girl pretty, like how Carla Bruni, the French President's girlfriend, would smell. The ambience is very floral yet clean, light and cool, like sitting on the earth in the middle of a luscious garden. It strikes me as a rich girl's scent, with its multi-layered progression and refinement. If I had no perfumes left in my collection and could only buy one bottle for the rest of my life, this fragrance would be in the running, although Carnal Flower might win out.

What makes this different from other fragrances you have tried?

Frederic Malle's fragrances are so beautifully composed. Le Parfum de Thérèse really is no exception. This one is simultaneously cool and clean, with fruits and florals, but it never crosses the line into "sweet" like the plethora of scents today. That is why I think of it as refined, as in classy without trying too hard. There is something very stately about it, a little hard to get and distant but familiar at the same time ... a lot like the vibe I get from Chanel Bois des Iles (although completely different in notes). And there is something a little dirty at the bottom, to compliment the cleanliness and keep you guessing. I love fragrances with contrasting elements!

Is there anything about Frederic Malle Le Parfum de Thérèse that disappoints you?

I wish it lasted longer. It disappears on my skin in a few hours. Oh, and it lacks sillage (the ability for others to smell it). Something this good should last and waft.

If you had to describe this fragrance in one word, what would it be?


What do you picture in your mind when you smell this scent?

Lush gardens and orange groves, cool and refreshing drinks like cucumber water, bare skin and damp earth, in that order.

Would you purchase a full bottle of Frederic Malle Le Parfum de Thérèse?

Considering the cost, probably not. But I would purchase a large decant after I empty the bottle of one of my current fragrances.

How would you summarize this fragrance?

Excellent and beautiful composition, full bottle worthy for those who can afford it, uplifting and cool with some dirtiness, perfect for days that you want your fragrance close to the skin and reminds me of beautiful people in beautiful clothes.

I looked up the notes in the fragrance after writing the latter. They are as follows:

mandarin, melon, jasmine, pepper, violet, rose, plum, nutmeg, cedar, vetiver, and leather

I am thrilled that my nose is becoming more discerning. (I guess it is a by-product of discussing and testing so many fragrances?) The cedar, vetiver and leather explain my love of the dirty drydown. What do you think of this one?

Frederic Malle Le Parfum de Thérèse can be purchased at Barney's and Les Editions de Parfum. A 3.4 oz. bottle retails for $160.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Robert Piguet Visa Re-Issue

The inability to access the internet and post a review on Monday and Tuesday allowed more time to wear this fragrance and explore its nuances. How I wish I had taken time to test this at Bergdorf Goodman, the same morning I met its creator Aurelien Guichard, for I would have snatched up a full bottle in a heartbeat. This gourmand/oriental begins smelling like many others on the market and ends with unique beauty and depth.

Mr. Guichard has also created the spicy-sweet Bond No. 9 Chinatown. Chinatown features an interesting peach accord contrasted with spices. Thus, it is very likely he favors the fuzzy fruit and enjoys experimenting with it, for Visa builds upon it as well. The original Visa launched in 1945 and has been described as an aldehydic (sparkling) floral. Although I have not sniffed the original, I am certainly glad Visa has been re-issued as I proudly declared it my #2 favorite scent from 2007.

The opening of this stunning fragrance screams fruity-floral, thus the reason it may be perceived as yet another mass marketed, for the younger less discerning nose fragrance. White vineyard peaches, pear, violet, Italian bergamot and mandarin essences give it pizzaz and piquancy. Not to fear, however. This "just like the umpteen others" stage is very short-lived. The second stage involves that same luscious peach, along with ylang essences, rose, immortelle (everlasting flowers) and orange flower absolutes. Think rich, as in a dessert overflowing with sauce and cream, and detailed as in an intricate pattern, and you will nearly capture how gorgeous it is, but not quite. Rather than the lighthearted and sparkling fruits of the top, this heart is much richer, darker and decadent. The listing of notes, as on a sheet of music, simply gives the wearer an idea. The magic lies in playing them and in this case, the melody inspires and moves the wearer. If you have ever experienced chills down your spine following a perfectly performed number at a concert or musical performance, you will understand the beauty to which I am referring. Amping up those qualities, the leather accord at the lower base, along with sandalwood, Indonesian patchouli, vetiver and vanilla beans saves the best for last. The addition of vanilla and leather catapult the fragrance into the warm and snuggly category; the progression is akin to devouring a delicious dessert and then diving under a soft blanket while being caressed by your beloved.

Visa has some similarities to Thierry Mugler's Angel but I find it much more wearable and likeable. Nonetheless, for those who enjoy Angel, Visa is a must try. For all others, the fragrance promises a more richly composed and sophisticated fruity-floral with a gourmand and oriental base. I picture the person wearing this much like the press release for Visa, a very well-traveled sophisticate who desires to wear a fragrance "reminiscent of all the places she visits and sights she sees." A beautiful concept for certain. In this case, it fits.

Robert Piguet Visa is available at Bergdorf Goodman in New York, Le Bon Marche in Paris and Harvey Nichols in London. The EDP retails for $65-$95 and the parfum is $190 for 1 ounce.

Advertisement from Okadi

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Posting Delay

Hello Dear Readers,

I had every intention yesterday to post a new review, however technical difficulties prevented me from having any internet access at all. And today is over 1/2 complete, so I do not anticipate having an extra hour or two to write. Therefore, I will post a new review in the morning tomorrow, Wednesday as well as Friday. Next week I will be back on my regular Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule. Stay tuned!

Best Regards,

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Laura Mercier Eau De Lune

This fragrance took me by complete surprise. As I was shopping on a whim at Nordstrom with my mother and my grandmother, mostly looking for comfortable shoes for my grandmother's feet (Nordstrom will sell shoes of different sizes to customers, greatly appreciated by my grandmother), I briefly stopped at the Laura Mercier counter to spritz myself with something different. I was headed to the fragrance department, and just happened to walk past the cosmetic counters first. As I sniffed this glorious, light floral, my need to progress to the fragrance department disappeared. That one spritz on my wrist stayed with me for the rest of the day, long after we found grandma's shoes, and I kept sniffing and commenting, "This is really nice!" As oft happens to us perfumistas, we take a visual snapshot of the fragrance as we spritz; therefore, that snapshot endured for months although the memory of the scent disappeared. Laura Mercier Eau de Lune made it a few months later to my Christmas Wishlist for my family to peruse. Thanks to my darling husband, I am now the proud owner of a full bottle and since Christmas have already used nearly 20%.

What makes this ethereal floral so beautiful is its absolute cheeriness. With top notes of white flower petals, plumeria, rose and mandarin and very subtle base notes of orris, amber and musk, it is offensive to no one and could easily fall onto our Perfume for the Occasion: For The Office list. A light, extremely feminine, and undeniably joyful scent of citrus-y flowers, it most certainly does as promised on the box. It "lifts your senses to a faraway place, showering you with a fresh burst of florals sparkled with clear mandarin". It calls to mind the color yellow, verdant fields, chirping birds and joyful song. I feel as if I am the effervescent Julie Andrews in the classic The Sound of Music. As one review from imdb said about her, "Try and think of anybody better than jubilant, crop-haired Julie Andrews as a postulant nun who has gorgeous pipes, can make play clothes out of curtains, can set up and operate marionette shows at the drop of a hat, and is confident enough to convince a man that a failed nun is ideal marriage material." Her naiveté, innocence and craftiness personify Eau de Lune, as do various scenes in the film, specifically the moment Captain Von Trapp declares his love for her in a moonlit gazebo. The gentle tenderness apparent during Something Good (click on the link to hear the song) parallels the softness and beauty of Eau de Lune.

As the film lacks script depth, so does the fragrance lack a strident base. Rather, the accords of the top fade ever so slightly and finish on a very light musky note. As I have done since I first watched The Sound of Music at seven years old, I anticipate escaping monotony and stress while watching the film (yes, even a child needs stress relief!), due to its sappy and entertaining nature. I could say the same for Eau de Lune. If I am searching for a deep, resonating and pulsating scent, I look to my Serge Lutens collection, spicier fragrances or my Tom Ford scents. However, for lighthearted diversion during the day and a fragrance that makes me feel pretty, it fits the bill perfectly. And it makes no excuses in being exactly what it was designed to be.

Laura Mercier Eau de Lune is available at Nordstrom and other select department stores. A 1.7 oz. bottle retails for $65.

Images courtesy of and

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Creative Scentualization Perfect Kiss Sale

From now through Valentine's Day, February 14th, the 9 oz. Body Creme and 1.7 oz. Eau de Parfum Spray of Creative Scentualization Perfect Kiss is reduced 15%. If you purchase them together as a gift set, you receive 20% off. With any purchase on the Creative Scentualization website totaling $45 or more, you will receive Perfect Kiss body creme and Eau de Parfum samples as a gift. Click here to enjoy the savings. Read my review of this delectable fragrance here.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Perfume for the Occasion: For the Office

Similar to our last Perfume for the Occasion regarding airline travel, perfume for the office requires restraint and couth. If you have ever developed a migraine from a pungent, strident fruity-floral scent lovingly applied from head to toe by a non-perfumista, you know exactly what we are trying to avoid. A basic rule of thumb could be, "Wear whatever you want, but make sure you apply sparingly!" What may be barely noticed by your nose could cause waves of grimaces from unsuspecting colleagues at your office. And if your office is anything like mine, you definitely do not want to be that person who blows everyone away with your strong scent that enters the room before you do and lingers for hours after your departure. It could ruin your reputation and your career. Similar to an annoyingly loud cell phone conversation that rudely intrudes upon the personal space of countless people (and unfortunately I see this every day), too much perfume at the office immediately catapults the wearer into a club to which you would never want to belong: invasive, oppressive and suffocating. Human resource departments are becoming more diligent with scenarios such as this. Therefore, unobtrusive for close quarters could be our motto as I am certain Divina of Fragrance Bouquet agrees. Make sure to check out her entry!

With that in mind, there are a few scents that will prevent various science experiments in your home designed to prevent the above scenario. (I am speaking of the days where you dash from room to room and then retrace your steps to see if you can smell yourself. Or, you ask your spouse or partner if they can smell you from the next room.) No need to work so hard with these inconspicuous and modest scents, listed in alphabetical order:

  • Cartier Eau de Cartier - Clean, crisp and minimalist that starts out leafy green and ends with a freshly showered scent.

  • Donna Karan Cashmere Mist - an innocent, soft and light scent that reminds the wearer of everything from a hug to fresh linen.

  • Emporio Armani She - although this one will not win any awards, it is a great office scent with its vanilla, musky, soft, skin-like appeal.

  • Hermes Calèche Eau Délicate - Not to be confused with the original Calèche. This fragrance is quite different. Rather than the antiseptic, although beautifully composed chypre aspect of the original, Eau Délicate is a soft, woodsy floral that is at once clean and light.

  • J. Lo Glow - Oh, believe me I know I will get blasted for this suggestion. Nevertheless J. Lo's scents are very underrated and Glow comes across as soapy, soft and clean with plenty of white musk at the base. One spritz is all you need.

  • Keiko Mecheri Fleurs d'Osmanthus - a peachy, musky take on osmanthus that is very smooth and creamy. Think Serge Lutens Datura Noir but for daytime.

  • Origins Ginger Essence - Not the most sophisticated scent but universally appealing and uplifting to the wearer, perfect for an afternoon slump.

  • Prada Infusion d'Iris - A lovely, gentle iris scent that stays very close to skin and appeared on many "Favorites of 2007" lists.
If everyone in the world would stick to these or similar scents during work days, I believe we would have a much more productive and pleasant environment! I would love to hear what you like to wear to work. Better yet, list what not to wear as a friendly public service announcement.

New Year Announcement!

Dearest Readers,

As you can see by my blogging patterns, my work greatly affects my ability to post. I was off work Dec. 24-January 2 and therefore was more productive here. My intention and goal this year is to post three times/week: Monday, Wednesday and Friday. There will be weeks where this is not possible, such as the third week in January during which I have a work meeting every day from 7am to 10pm. However, I will do my best to make up for lost time. Accordingly, I am still on the lookout for contributing writers so if anyone has an interest in displaying or practicing their fragrance writing skills, please e-mail me. Thank you for your patience and loyalty!

Warmest Regards,

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Top Five of 2007

In honor of the new year and my one year blogging anniversary (!!!) I am please to announce my top five fragrance launches from 2007. Ironically I have not reviewed my top two favorites but I promise to do so early in the year. Contrary to a few of my contemporaries, I believe 2007 was a fantastic year for fragrance with an emphasis on a return to classics and an abundance of niche. My first year of writing about perfume afforded me the ability to try so many new offerings, and for that I am very appreciative. Without further ado, my top five:

5. Bella Bellissima Perfect Night - a voluptuous, woodsy number that I find utterly irresistable. Please read my review here.
4. Hermes Kelly Caleche - one that took me completely by surprise and one that I think will slowly capture interest of others. My review is here.
3. M. Micallef Note Ambree - I have yet to get my hands on more of this exquisite jus. It will be one of my projects for 2008 undoubtedly. Read here for more.
2. Piguet Visa - I had the pleasure of sniffing this wonderful creation at the Fall Ball. I also had the pleasure of being introduced to Aurelien Guichard and briefly speaking with this talented and charming man, the creator of Visa, Bond No. 9 Chinatown and Bond No. 9 Silver Factory! Visa is everything I wanted Angel to be.

And, my number one fragrance choice launched in 2007 is .... (drumroll please)

1. Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia - I love everything about this fragrance - the packaging, the concept and the undeniable beauty of it!

A few honorable mentions:

Best Discovery - Gianni Campagna Vento Canale transported me back to Italy with one sniff - an incredibly unique comfort fragrance.
Best Line - I must agree with Perfume-Smellin' Things here. Chanel outdid most houses by far with their Les Exclusifs release and re-launch of Chanel No. 5 in Eau Premiere. I thoroughly enjoyed testing and reviewing offerings from Chanel and my review list accordingly contains an abundance of their fragrances.