Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Carven and Elie Saab Side by Side

I have seen two fresh, modern scents compared on the blogosphere. Out of curiosity, I decided to conduct my own side by side comparison with one spritz on each hand: Carven le parfum on my left, Elie Saab Eau de Parfum on my right. Both were created by nose Francis Kurkdjian, whose creation 754 I adore, so he already has a leg up in my book.

At first spritz:

Carven - fresh, airy, light floral with lots of brightness; inoffensive but a tad bit boring
Elie Saab - light floral draped in honey, more sweetness than air; the sweetness gives it an edge. I am more drawn to this hand than my left.

Entering the heart:

Carven - one dimensional.  The scent has not changed or evolved and now offers just a lighter version of the first spritz with soft, fresh flowers remaining, namely white hyacinth underscored by sweet pea.  It might be a great choice for someone completely afraid of perfume.  I am not her.
Elie Saab - Wow.  Loving this sweet floral that leads with orange blossom.  I would choose it for every day wear and a light social occasion.  A few spritzes at the nape of my neck and on clothing would offend no one.  It reminds me of my daughter's spirit: sweet, light, fun.

Lingering in the drydown:

Carven - my first impression remains but the flowers have been replaced by pure powder.  Nice enough for someone (probably someone twenty years younger) but I am yawning.  Perhaps if the patchouli were dirtier it would fit pour moi.  However, if all twenty-somethings replaced their entire Bath and Body Works lotion collection with this ... hmmm ... the possibilities ...
Elie Saab: a slight hint of vetiver graces my nose while those gorgeous orange blossoms still sing.  I have been searching for a multi-dimensional neroli-focused scent and Elie Saab qualifies.  With this added dimension of depth, a thought just struck me as I inhale: a perfect wedding day scent.  Still, I would quite happily add this to my winter/spring rotation.

Overall impression:

Perhaps the parallel note of mandarin blossom prompted my fellow perfumistas to link these two scents, but based upon this experiment, I find Elie Saab the standout winner for those with more discerning noses.  Both offer freshness and light, while Elie Saab provides more depth and dimension to that theme.

A special thank you to Kristie Short at Saks Fifth Avenue, Biltmore, Phoenix for equipping me with samples of these two scents. Sales assistants like her make fragrance shopping a wonderful experience!

Carven le parfum and Elie Saab Eau de Parfum can both be purchased at Saks Fifth Avenue.  Carven retails for $84-$109 per bottle. Elie Saab EDP retails for $94-$124 per bottle.

Image of mandarin blossom from perfumemaster.org.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Byredo 1996 Inez and Vinoodh

Stockholm based Byredo has produced many original scents; one that captured my interest for the first time in a note I found too heavy for the hot desert: oud. Byredo Accord Oud is the one oud-focused scent I can wear, and now I am finding one woodsy, patchouli based scent I can wear in 1996 Inez and Vinoodh.

The scent was created for a Dutch married couple and photography duo, famous in their own right for their work in pop culture.  Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin have produced music videos, fahion magazine editorials and advertising campaigns.  Ben Gorham of Byredo desired to create a scent in their honor, mimicking their work and life together and specifically their photograph entitled "Kirsten 1996." They desired to merge their unique tastes, epitomized by their "house of warm wood and high end design"and Ben Gorham has succeeded with this gem.  Originally, it was not available to the public, but when the fragrance took off like wildfire among friends ... well, another decision was made to launch at Barney's September 2013.

The scent begins altogether woodsy but morphs into a soft, creamy heart like orris and violet wrapped in vanilla.  With fresh juniper berry and warm, in this case dark, amber, the fragrance is indeed a study in contrasting elements merging to form beauty.  With leather and patchouli at the base, I cannot stop sniffing and I believe I must have this for winter and the holidays. Since I have a difficult time describing the scent, it reminds me of warm nights at a winter cabin, a luxurious cabin with all of the comforts of home, and nights filled with gourmet meals, fresh flowers, cashmere throws, and cognac by the fireside.  Luxurious, refined, interesting, warming, intoxicating and sensual all accurately describe Byredo 1996 Inez and Vinoodh.  Test at your own risk as you may spring for a bottle on the spot.

Byredo 1996 Inez and Vinoodh is available at Barney's New York.  A 50ml bottle retails for $175.