Monday, March 31, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Image courtesy of www.mssl.ucl.ac.uk
Monday, March 24, 2008
Dis-Moi, Miroir or Mirror Image by perfumer Fabrice Pellegrin:
Described as a "a lavish, nurturing floral fragrance melding Lily, Orange Blossom, and nurturing milky notes for extreme sophistication," Mirror Image stays close to the skin but offers a soft, sweet gourmand bouquet. Orange blossom and lily certainly stand out during the beginning stages, with those milky and "nurturing" notes underscoring the beautiful, sweet Spring blooms. It is this honeyed and happy stage of the fragrance that compels me to recommend it for Easter and/or springtime. The heart becomes a bouquet akin to fruity marshmallows, much like the sweet gourmand scents catered to the younger crowd. The marshmallow accord prompted my husband to say, "It reminds me of high school." An expert on fragrance, he is not. However he poses an accurate idea in that this fragrance can be considered quite young - not really sophisticated as the marketing description suggests. For fans of By Kilian Love or the difficult to obtain L'Artisan Framboise Tralala you will find something likeable here. Thankfully, the milky notes never turn sour as they provide a creamy anchor to the cheerful, candied flowers, much like a dash of cream adds richness to a cup of floral tea. It struck me as I began to write this review that the name might hold some significance in its description. For the other scents in this collection, I simply saw it as an unrelated embellishment. However in this case, the name does match the close to the skin quality of the youthful, candied yet slightly creamy Mirror Image. And for those of us who feel younger than the image in the mirror holds, this scent provides a refreshing reminder of our youth.
Miroir des Secrets or Mirror of Secrets by perfumer Domitille Bertier:
From the maker of Diptyque Tam Dao comes a scent unlike anything I have ever experienced. If you could see me right now, my nose would be wrinkled like a pug's. This is not my cup of tea at all, however forever munificent when it comes to perfume, I am able to find some redeeming qualities about it. The top consists of fizzy aldehyde, clarifying and uplifting in its happy nature. From what I understand, this is a naturally occuring aldehyde. Boy would I love to know more about the creation of this scent! Bittersweetness is the aspect of Secrets that has my nose bent out of shape. Once the patchouli and musk make themselves known after a few minutes of drying time, the fragrance takes on a peculiarly sour and bittersweet nature on my skin. I reserve bittersweet qualities for dark chocolate and certain spices I use in food. I rarely long to smell bittersweet. However, fans of patchouli and musk with a twist may find this fragrance worth a try.
A Travers Le Miroir or Through the Looking Glass by perfumer Alexis Dadier:
By far my favorite in the collection, this one took me by complete surprise. When I read the description as follows, "The opulent and utterly feminine tuberose, lavish and decadent, flirts with a warm, very masculine, woody accord and aromatic accents of absinthe. Subtle notes of wintergreen make the tuberose flower smells almost metallic," I expected something similar to Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle. What I experienced was a metamorphosis of scent, from the earthy, slightly woodsy and seductive introduction, to the metallic and cold heart of tuberose, to the warm, ambery and soft finish. A spicy element also exists in the composition, reminding me of cumin softened by flowers, probably attributable to medicinal absinthe. On the whole it is quite lovely and beautiful, wonderfully unique and truly sophisticated. This scent longs to be worn by a femme fatale who is confident enough in herself to wear a fragrance so remarkably different from most.
After fully experiencing the entire collection, I applaud the house of Thierry Mugler for creating unique scents worth studying. Because of the price point I will not be purchasing a full bottle. However, I would love a decant of A Travers Le Miroir for special occasions!
(See previous post for purchasing information.)
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
Miroir des Envies or Mirror of Desires by perfumer Christine Nagel:
From the creator of the blockbuster Narciso Rodriguez For Her and my own love Thierry Mugler Angel Lily comes a very unconventional floral. A strikingly apt description is written by Saks Fifth Avenue - "Provocative notes of warm, morning toast and sun-drenched skin become tasty partners with a sumptuous jasmine center. A unique overdose of usually minor accords." My first impression of the fragrance was unfortunately a deadringer for nailpolish. Perhaps the delicate nature of the notes combined with the fixative alcohol caused them to get lost in the shuffle. That unpleasant top accord faded quickly (thank goodness) leading to the simultaneously sweet and cozy heart. Who thought that morning toast could create a pleasant fragrance experience when blended with jasmine? Kudos to Christine for taking a risk and developing a scent that reminds me of all things innocent, soft and light - an infant's fingers, delicate flower petals warmed by the sun, the backs of my cat's ears, a gentle butterfly. Miroir des Envies offers a soft and ethereal skin scent that is undoubtedly unique and original. For those who like fragrances that boldly make a statement or offer significant sillage, this scent is not ideal. Rather it is feather-light and I predict some perfumistas may not even detect it on their skin. Therefore, this delicate, breezy fragrance could be a great choice for a woman who is pregnant and averse to strong odors, a congested office environment or a casual and relaxing (think walks in the park, soft music or curling up with a good book) weekend.
Miroir des Vanités or Mirror of Vanities by perfumer Alexis Dadier:
This fragrance is again soft but in an entirely different fashion than the previous. No florals exist in this composition. Rather, this one is described as an "effervescent woody" scent where "bubbly citrus accords enliven and mingle with the warm, subtle bitterness of cinchona bark and vetiver, heightened by the black intensity of licorice". Despite the description, nothing about this scent is intense to my nose. Instead, I smell a progression from bergamot to vetiver, with a gentle undercurrent of something darker, perhaps the bark. "Effervescent" is an accurate description for the top, since the combination of citrus and vetiver create a bubbly, happy accord. As the scent develops further it remains lighthearted and docile and ends on a powdery note. It never deepens enough to be considered sexy or profound. Nonetheless, Miroir des Vanités is truly unique and reminds me of literally no other fragrance I have tried. Like Miroir des Envies, I find it somewhat casual due to its lack of sincere depth but nice enough for a relaxed and aloof vibe.
I am not crazy about the packaging of the two scents. It looks much harsher than the soft and delicate juice within. The price point is a bit steep in my opinion, but if you fall in love, it may be worth it. So far, I will not be purchasing a full bottle. We shall see what the last three hold in store!
The Thierry Mugler Mirror Mirror collection is available at Saks Fifth Avenue. They are listed under "Women's Fragrances" on the website and retail for $150 for a 1.7 EDP.
Image of Miroir des Envies courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
Lanvin Arpège was originally created in 1927 by André Fraysse, a French nose dedicated to creating scents for the house of Lanvin including My Sin, Prétexte and the original Rumeur. Arpège was reformulated in 1993 and unlike other reformulations in perfumery, this one bears striking resemblance to the original. Therefore, for reviewing purposes I will be discussing the excellent reformulation which is much easier to locate than the original and very similar to it in composition. The notes include a sparkling top of bergamot, aldehydes, peach, orange blossom, honeysuckle and iris; rose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, coriander, mimosa, tuberose, Parma violet and geranium at the heart; sandalwood, vetiver, patchouli, vanilla and musk providing an ample base.
Upon first sniff, it so closely resembles Chanel No. 5 that I am left to wait in suspense as the heart unfolds. I wonder what so significantly differentiates this from the Chanel aldehydic creation. The top is nearly 100% sparkling aldehydes with an ample dose of flowers like neroli and lily of the valley, rendering it all but identical to No. 5. I do not have to sit in suspense very long, however. As warm and enveloping vanilla rolls through the fragrance, this note drops the resonation of the scent at least two octaves and it is the first base note I detect. The abundant, blooming and colorful flowers remain, but as the fragrance progresses they become much warmer and earthier. Through this stage Arpège resembles No. 5's naughty older sister, much like the contrast between Anne and Mary Boleyn during their adolescence, before Anne became crazed with obsessive love for King Henry VIII. Anne’s naïve yet manipulative, sweet yet cunning persona contrasted with Mary’s pure of heart, genuine and loving nature exemplify the differences between sparkling, bright and powdery floral to earthy, languid sandalwood, vanilla and patchouli. As one of my contemporaries mentioned, vetiver gives the base a cool aspect, preventing it from enveloping the scent with warmness. It is precisely the cool-warm base that lends this fragrance its identity, separate from Chanel No. 5 and lovely in its own right. I picture the woman who wears this fragrance as beautiful, powerful and benefiting from exquisite taste.
I am quite captivated by Arpège and very pleased to have made its acquaintance. It seems deserving to find such a lovely beauty awaiting me at the end of a perfume-scanty week. To seal the deal, the packaging of the scent could not be lovelier. Originally the scent was created for Jeanne Lanvin to represent a mother’s love for her child. Therefore the image on the bottle is that of a mother and child, inspired by a 1907 picture of Jeanne and her daughter Marguerite before a ball. This image later became the hallmark image for all Lanvin fragrances. And it has me coveting a bottle of Arpège Eau de Parfum.
 Philippa Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl explores the differences between the two sisters in great depth. I highly recommend this fabulous book that has recently been made into a motion picture.
Lanvin Arpège is widely available on many perfume websites. For example, a 3.4 oz. EDP spray retails for $76 on parfumsraffy.com.
Image of ad courtesy of adclassix.com, bottle courtesy of perfumemonkey.com
Friday, March 14, 2008
Image of lemon blossom courtesy of delange.org
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
Friday, March 07, 2008
An Exhausted Perfumista
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
The winner of the mood-enhancing scent packet, based upon a drawing on random.org, is ...
Our Beloved Chayaruchama!!!
I., please excuse my lack of organization as I am certain one of your many gifts to me had your address on it, but would you mind sending your address to me once again? Much love to you!
Monday, March 03, 2008
· Chanel Bel Respiro - Once you have experienced the exquisite beauty of the Emerald Isle it creates a long-standing and unforgettable impression. This is the scent I choose when I mind- travel back to the Cliffs of Maher and Dromoland Castle. Bel Respiro is what I will be wearing come March 17th.
Elizabeth Arden Green Tea - my favorite green tea fragrance that puts all the others to shame! Contains notes of green tea, peppermint, oakmoss and celery seed along with lemon, orange and rhubarb. It is nothing less than simultaneously refreshing and calming.