Sunday, September 04, 2011

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Puredistance Antonia

Puredistance Antonia is an adventurous romantic with a lush, floral heart.  Adopting a playful and cheerful demeanor, the scent initially releases green floral notes which spring up as verdant, promising and stunning.  Set to the rhythm of a sweet and soaring vanilla base, hints of delicate jasmine, rich orris and majestic rose joyfully dance and erupt in elation on a soft, green bed of vetiver as if celebrating spring’s long awaited arrival. 
The addition of galbanum carries the charming dance into the damp night, adding polish to the composition and rendering the fragrance downright gorgeous.  Antonia is a poetic expression of a soft, refined and floral beauty.  The scent lingers with a gentle kiss and the promise of a glorious, new day. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chanel No. 5 Eau Première

I am one of the lucky ladies who can wear Chanel No. 5 with confidence. I know it frustrates some. All those aldehydes and flowers can sometimes clash with a person’s skin. But on me, it sings. I am grateful. (In other olfactory categories I am quite unlucky so I am certainly not bragging here.)

Chanel No. 5 Eau Première is for those who may have become frustrated with the original. It is quintessentially No. 5 for the new generation. In order to compare with some accuracy, I am wearing Chanel No. 5 Eau de Parfum on one arm and Chanel No. 5 Eau Première on the other. The contrast between the two is quite simple: the Eau Première has a higher backbeat, a lack of sharpness, softer edges and a sweeter drydown. The lush floral notes remain: neroli, ylang-ylang, rose, iris and jasmine. It lasts even longer on my skin than the Eau de Parfum and when I wear it, I receive repeated, unsolicited compliments.

Why did I choose it as the scent to accompany the new Chrysler advertisement? Read more about that here.  Even though the focus is on an American car, I believe French perfume to be the epitome of style in the most classic sense. If we want to bring that style and glamour back to the forefront, what better choice than a modern, French, meticulously crafted nod to the past?

I pause when saying this knowing it is a bold statement, but I truly believe the world would be a much better place if all women who use perfume wore Chanel – not No. 5 specifically but most Chanel fragrances (with the exception of Chance). Never overwhelming, always sophisticated, and always glamourous is Chanel. A close second would be Estée Lauder.  However, I find the classic Estée Lauder choices I can wear to be limited.  So, my vote remains Chanel.  I will leave you with the advertisement and those thoughts to ponder.

Chrysler Advertisement

Chanel No. 5 Eau Première is available in a 5 oz. bottle at Saks Fifth Avenue and various online sources.  Prices range from $110 to $158.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Here are my thoughts on my first perfume love, posted to Perfume Smellin' Things this morning.  Please share with me your first perfume love and what impacted you about that fragrance.  Have a wonderful Valentine's Day with your loved ones!
They say you never forget your first love.  That is true in romance and it is equally true in fragrance.  I remember with vivid detail my first perfume love.  I remember saving my wrinkled dollar bills from my steady babysitting job to purchase her.  I remember learning how to say her name.  I remember bravely walking into the store, setting my sites on the opulent fragrance counter that I had frequented with my aunt, and asking for her.  I remember feeling so grown up in acquiring her at a mere fourteen years old.  I remember exploring her white, clean packaging, studying her curves and inhaling her fragrance.  Yes, I remember … Her name was Anaïs Anaïs by Cacharel.  I can conjure her scent in an instant, for she accompanied me nearly every day through my sophomore year of high school.  She mentored me like a loving, big sister.  A little powdery, a lot floral and definitely not sophomoric, her sophistication embraced my wholesome, naïve adole-scents.  Yet, her lack of overly musky or animalic bases ensured her consistent appeal to my untrained nose. Cheerful orange blossom, sweet lily and springtime hyacinth underscored by sandalwood and incense, Anaïs Anaïs’ accords are always appropriate, even for my strict, parochial school days.  If only the pains of growing up were not associated with her, I would reconnect with her, asking for another warm embrace.  Instead, I will always remember …  with love and adoration.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Draw Winner!

The winner of the draw for a decant of fragrance that, to me, personifies the new Chrysler commercial is ....   ALICE!! 

Thank you to everyone who voted.  Alice's name was randomly drawn using  Alice will receive a generous decant of my beloved Chanel No. 5 Eau Premiere.  Congratulations Alice!  Please send your address to

Please stay tuned for a review on Chanel No. 5 Eau Premiere.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

A Most Pleasurable Second Introduction: Serge Lutens Daim Blond

I am always delighted with appreciation to come across a sales associate who not only knows their subject matter but also genuinely enjoys what they do. I recently had the pleasure of meeting such an associate at Barney’s New York in Scottsdale. I phoned ahead of time, asking her to show me some fragrances featuring a leather note. When I arrived, I was blown away not only by her knowledge, but also by her kindness. And I need to thank her for a second introduction to Daim Blond by Serge Lutens.

Meant to evoke the scent and feel of buttery rich, high quality suede, Daim Blond lives up to its objective and then some. This is achieved through a delicate combination of soft, sweetly scented flowers (heliotrope, iris) with earthy musk, spicy cardamom, woodsy hawthorn and bitter apricot kernel. The latter three notes serve to intensify, enrich and add character to the aforementioned gentle, delicate and understated floral accord; without it, Daim Blond would be lacking polish and interest. The result becomes a rich, velvety, mellifluous fragrance with a slight hint of feminity -- high quality suede indeed.  I thoroughly enjoy it, especially when I wear a crème suede cropped jacket.

Serge Lutens Daim Blond can be purchased at Barney's New York,, and Henri Bendel.  A 50ml bottle retails for $140.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Transfixed: Thoughts on a Commercial and a Draw!

It rarely happens. A commercial is simply that -- a commercial. We are inundated with messages, signs, print ads, TV chatter, overall stimulation in modern day society. We see things, quickly dismiss them, and go on about our business. I am inundated with information and lots of it, daily. So, it rarely happens that a TV commercial captures my attention from start to finish, inspiring my creative brain and evoking emotions as I sit motionless, glued to the images, haunted by the music.

It happened tonight. The first time I saw the beautifully constructed new Chrysler commercial. As J. Ralph’s “One Million Miles Away” hums hauntingly and Adrien Brody speaks seductively (“Where’s the glamour gone?”), images of impeccably dressed and coiffed socialites arrive at a gathering in a beautiful vintage Chrysler. “Wasn’t too long ago, America had it. Looking, feeling like a million bucks was practically a birthright … It’s time to regain the style, the cachet, the confidence … it’s time, once again, to arrive in style …” And I am speechless.

There is a reason I am transfixed. It reminds me of what I try to achieve with a fragrance, rather than an automobile. Every time I test a new scent, wear it, buy it, I am attempting to achieve effortless glamour. I am trying to arrive in style. And just when I think I have found “the one” that gives me that elegant edge, it eludes … it disappoints … I become bored … and the search continues.

So my question today, dear readers: What fragrance should underscore this beautiful advertisement from Chrysler? If you were to arrive in style, what would you be wearing? I will randomly draw a name from the comments posted on this space. The winner will receive a decant of a fragrance in my collection that qualifies. (Mystery fragrance to be reviewed and posted later!)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

New Twitter Page

Hello Dear Readers,

I offer another way to follow my blog and posts!  Find me on Twitter here.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Etat Libre D'Orange: Sample Pack Review, Part 3 of 3

The final batch from my Etat Libre D’Orange sample pack, garnered from Lucky Scent when they originally launched the line. It does not include the one scent that attracted so much attention --Secretions Magnifique – nor the newer offerings Sex Pistols and Noel au Balcon.

Antihéros – Antihéros offers perhaps the most verdant, unending fields of lavender grounded by some woods and musk. Remove the fancy description. This is what you want to scent your pillow and your bedroom, and maybe your partner when desiring calm, peace, tranquility.

Divin’ Enfant – The opening offers the same vein of marshmallow and orange blossom delicacy and innocence as By Kilian’s Love. However, rather than remaining somewhere between “innocence and not,” Divin’ Enfant develops, without apology, into a tantalizing, sexy leather and coffee accord. Mais non? You do not find leather and coffee sexy? Give this one a try and you will know exactly what I mean.

Putain de Palaces – Unabashedly feminine, lushly floral, delicately spicy and … loud, Putain de Palaces shouts from the rooftops, “Look! Look at me!!!” A gorgeous study on sweet flowers (rose, violet, lily of the valley) underscored by ginger, this fragrance reminds me of a woman wearing too many frills who needs to learn the art of subtlety. Nonetheless, it beats ninety-five percent of mass marketed fragrances today. For those who love lush, powdery, sweet florals, Putain de Palaces deserves a sniff.

Rossy de Palma – Rossy de Palma offers a bewitching study on rose in a less than classical sense. True to its namesake, it is beautiful in a strange, odd sort of way. I visualize scarlet, fully bloomed roses underscored by chocolate with a dash of peppery spices – a perfect choice for Valentine’s Day. Spray some at the nape of your neck, in your hair, and in your clothing; it wafts from the skin fairly quickly.

Je Suis Un Homme – A scent that apologizes to no one for being exactly what it was designed to be: a classic cologne providing masculine qualities. After bergamot and citrus make their quick entrance and subsequent departure, birch wood and cognac linger, offering a divinely smoky quality. The latter notes prompt me to offer a glowing recommendation for Je Suis Un Homme; the former notes suggest a simple nod to classic bergamot-inspired cologne. If my husband were to wear this, I would nuzzle him incessantly.

Eloge du Traitor – This offering introduced me to an entirely new scent category. At first sniff, it was so familiar and yet so odd. With pine, bay leaf and artemisia headlining, to describe Eloge du Traitor as herbaceous would be a gross understatement. Simultaneously bitter and sweet, with a dense quality, Eloge du Traitor prompts me to pack some trail mix and my camera to set off for a mysterious daytime adventure into the lush Coconino National Forest. I will retire at a cozy log cabin that is scented with this interesting gem.

My overall impression of this line: interesting and unique fragrances with a provocative, slightly risky shtick. The scents offer an impressive experience of every olfactory category. I would have dismissed Etat Libre D’Orange as juvenile based upon their appearance alone, but in doing so would have missed out. I may purchase Divin’ Enfant and Vraie Blonde.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Etat Libre d’Orange: Sample Pack Review, Part 2 of 3

Vierges et Toreros – The marketing metaphor is compelling enough: heady tuberose, the”virgin” in a bull fight arena against the animal, resinous notes of leather, costus, and patchouli, or the “torero.” The torero appears to win to the bystander, but to the nose tuberose is ultimately victorious in a passionate battle. On my skin it initially fares more like faint tuberose painfully losing with leather and pepper victorious. The leather note smells slightly of rubber. Tuberose when paired with other olfactory categories tends to disappear on my skin – one of the reasons I sadly cannot wear Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle. However, when tuberose is paired with other floral notes -- as in Frederic Malle Carnal Flower – it lasts for days on me. Based upon my experience, my first impression verdict on Vierges et Toreros? Too much torero and not enough virgin, metaphorically speaking, of course. However, after giving it about fifteen to twenty minutes to develop, I stand corrected. That small, creamy, white flower has some punch. The leather mutes tuberose’s typically heady quality and renders the scent downright alluring.

Nombrile Immense – Not my mother’s bottle of patchouli oil from her bell-bottom wearing, rebellious hippy days. Oh no. This is premiere quality, quiet, reverent patchouli for practicing yoga and meditating. The added notes of vetiver, opoponax and absolute ambrette seeds render this patchouli-based scent absolutely wearable yet casual and introspective. Vetiver literally takes over during the course of development and although categorized as unisex by Lucky Scent, Nombrile Immense could very well constitute a small decant purchase for my husband.

Delicious Closet Queen – Directly opposing on every level the type of fragrance I like to wear, Delicious Closet Queen is so repugnant to my nose that it is very quickly giving me a headache. However, I can imagine that some would quite like this blend of piquant violet leaf, tangy geranium and masculine cedar with strawberry, leather and tonka bean. I can understand its name, for it is a study in contrast; however, the name belies its sophistication. The fact that this scent frankly disagrees with my chemistry is unfortunate. Do not let that deter you from trying. I will be curious to hear what you think.

Charogne – I really wanted to like this, if only to temper Charogne’s ridiculous marketing message. Who wants to wear a fragrance of death? In this case, lily is the lightweight in an unfair battle against the metaphorical “beast” of animalic leather. To be direct, this smells like floral tar on my skin. Although slightly sweet, it is still tar. I would not be caught dead wearing this one.

These four do not stand out as my favorites from Etat Libre d’Orange. Regardless, I am detecting a theme. The marketing of these fragrances – their name, the vignettes that underscore their name on the packaging, and the animation depicting each scent – cheapens their outstanding composition. The marketing team probably wanted to present an original idea, perhaps a modern design, to attract customers. However, a sophisticated, classic theme fits them much better.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Etat Libre d’Orange: Sample Pack Review, Part 1 of 3

My re-entry into obsessing about perfume begins. All it took was finding a sample pack of Etat Libre d’Orange scents that I had ordered from Lucky Scent when they added the line to their inventory. These scents added decadence to my chore-filled weekend; I enjoyed said chores with intermittent inhales of the fragrances on my wrist and hands. Each transported me to a different place and time. In no particular order, I offer my newfound foray into description.

Jasmin et Cigarette – So far, my favorite although I have not yet tried Like This or Don’t Get Me Wrong Baby – both appealing to my sensibilities. If Jasmin et Cigarette’s olfactory stages were arranged on a tabletop, here is that tabletop’s description: a freshly opened pack of non-filter cigarettes front and center, a bouquet of creamy, freshly-picked jasmine blossoms just north of the pack of cigarettes, one lush, just-bitten apricot to the right and scattered tonka bean seeds to the left. Grouped together, the lovely scent offers endless material for the nose. I cannot stop sniffing.

Vraie Blonde – Sparkling, opalescent and pretty, undeniably yellow and youthful, Vraie Blonde is aldehydes just the way I like them: fun. I picture my daughter, faintly smelling of candied fruit, chasing butterflies and picking dandelions as she giggles, her blonde hair blowing in the wind. The promise of suede and curvaceous sexiness eludes me at first. This fragrance spells innocence – far from what the marketing team wants you to believe. In this case, marketers grab your attention and exit stage left. But wait. Just wait. They come back. And they bring the “x” in sexy. After all those flighty aldehydes waft off, what remains is indeed curvaceous, spicy, and sultry (due to soft myrrh, quiet patchouli and luxurious suede) – not my daughter’s perfume but mine, all mine.

Rien – Not a fragrance I would normally wear, but I do find it fascinating. A true study in contrast. Could be categorized as a skin scent but so much more than that – spicy, heady, intoxicating, with a haughty, religious edge; like spotting a dark, brooding, attractive man in church. You want to flirt, desperately, but timing is off. The resinous incense and labdanum negate the sex appeal for me, but maybe that is due to my Catholic Mass attending, sexually frustrated youth. What is left reminds me of a crackling fire, an off-the-shoulder sweater and a hot spiced tea on a cold winter day.

Encens et Bubblegum – Where were you when I was twelve? On the verge of adolescence yet still enthusiastically cuddling puppies and playing hopscotch, this adorable mixture of raspberries, peaches and lily of the valley with vanilla, incense and musk to ground it is so playful and sweet I just want to hug it! Although the marketing language mentions darkness, all I see (and smell) is cuteness and sunshine.

The Etat Libre d'Orange scents are available at Henri Bendel and  They range in price from $80-99 for 50ml.  I recommend luckyscent for samples of each!